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The history of printing in The Modern World

This picture has nothing to do with movable type but it does have to do with a certain type of people who move about in this world and who are able to do things. (Painting by Domenico di Pace Beccafumi, 1486 - 1551.)

"Hammurabi's children made their house of slavery's bricks, imprimatured by some mad priest's imagined good. The good is gone; the priest stamps on...." (George Delury)


A printing press

Once there was a Chinese man, Teip Oh (alt: Tei Poh), who invented movable type in China. It is not known if news of his invention ever reached Europe, but something did happen there which might arouse interest among scholars. Johannes Guttenberg[1] invented the printing press. Nothing was ever heard of Teip Oh, until many years after printed books had become common in Europe and were even being replaced by digital media, and then only a few master printers[2] knew Teip Oh had ever lived. Mr. Guttenberg made his living printing Indulgences for the Big Boss, who had, in appreciation, provided him with a sinecure for life. What did Mr. Guttenberg do with the rest of his life? He devoted himself to improving the resolution of the type slugs(sic) in his printing presses. He was so enamored of increasing the resolution of printed text that he gave himself the nickname: "Sluggie".

Chateau Décapité, the Loire Valley, France.

At first, his printed indulgences could easily be spotted as not penned by highly skilled living scribes, because they were typeset from a small vocabulary of glyphs. But after some years, printing presses got to be so high resolution that only professionals could tell the difference between classic indulgences and Mr. Guttenberg's knock offs. Mr. Guttenberg finally retired to his Chateau Décapité (right; ref.: The Washington Irving story), venturing out, most days, on his morbidly obese beloved steed (Grosse Automobile), to preach the Gospel of High Resolution Indulgences, which won him immortal praise from all illiterate lay persons, bishops and on up the ecclesiastical command chain.

In the 20th Century. there was a company called: Xerox (for which Teip Oh had been unassumingly working when he made his invention that went nowhere). Xerox machines became very popular in The Church. A monk made a cartoon of himself wheeling a Xerox copier into a scriptorium, with the caption: "What hath God wrought?", which he taped to the machine. The toner on the machine did not fuse, but the Abbot of the monk's monastery (Charles de Parkedcar, who had a secret affair with the Abbess of a nearby nunnery: Diane Daughter of John), when apprised of this problem by the Xerox machine operator, instructed the operator to keep copying the monastery's manuscripts to be thus preserved for all eternity. Said Abbot died a very frustrated old man, because he had got himself into the position of being Pope-in-waiting, but the old Pope did not die in time.

"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

 
 

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Footnotes

  1. A note to my readers: It should be obvious that the story I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) am telling here is fiction, and bears little or no resemblance to actual historical events. Item: No person, to my knowledge, ever existed whose name was: "Johannes Guttenberg". In law enforcement, I have learned that a "NICS [pronounced like: "Nix"] check" is a background check run through the FBI to attempt to verify that a person trying to purchase a firearm (gun) does not have a criminal record or isn't otherwise ineligible to purchase or own a firearm.
  2. BMcC personal correspondence: Professor Elizabeth Eisenstein wrote to me that she wanted to name her book: "The Printing Press as an Agent of Change", instead: "The Master Printer as an Agent of Change", but the publisher did not like this idea. This is similar to how Hermann Broch's [jewish] son told me that he wanted to have a big swastika () on the cover of his translation of his father's "mountain novel", but the publisher did not like that idea, either.


Unfortunate for themself, the person who lacks one; unfortunate for others, the person that is one. Don't be an a**hole!


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2022-05-02 07:08:52